Live: 4990 new cases, 10 virus-related deaths, 379 people in hospital

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 22 May 2022, 1:12pm
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Live: 4990 new cases, 10 virus-related deaths, 379 people in hospital

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 22 May 2022, 1:12pm

There are 4990 new community cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand today. 

The Ministry of Health reported a further 10 Covid-related deaths. 

There are 379 people in hospital with the virus, including 9 in intensive care. 

The locations of today's community cases are: Northland (140), Auckland (1,693), Waikato (353), Bay of Plenty (165), Lakes (88), Hawke's Bay (166), MidCentral (182), Whanganui (62), Taranaki (137), Tairāwhiti (27), Wairarapa (58), Capital and Coast (351), Hutt Valley (134), Nelson Marlborough (165), Canterbury (799), South Canterbury (84), Southern (344), West Coast (36), Unknown (6). 

There are 60 new imported cases to report. 

The seven-day rolling average of community cases is 7863 which has increased by over 200 compared to last Sunday's 7608. 

Of the deaths reported today, two were from the Auckland region, two from Waikato, one from Lakes, one from MidCentral; three from Canterbury, and one from Southern. 

Two people were in their 70s, six were in their 80s and two were aged over 90. 

Nine were men and one woman died. 

"This is a very sad time for whānau and friends and our thoughts and condolences are with them. Out of respect, we will be making no further comment on these deaths." 

Of the people in hospital with the virus, 12 per cent were unvaccinated or not eligible, three per cent were partially vaccinated or had received one dose, 23 per cent were double vaccinated and 61 per cent had also received their booster. 

Today's deaths take the total number of publicly reported deaths with Covid-19 to 1055. 

The seven-day rolling average of reported deaths is 12. 

There are now 55,565 active cases in the community. 

In total, there have been 1,094,659 cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Three wards in Southland Hospital remain closed to visitors due to a Covid outbreak. 

Simon Donlevy, Southern DHB's general manager for Southland, said there were capacity issues across the entire region. 

"Over the past six weeks or so, we have transferred approximately 15 patients to Dunedin in order to preserve our Covid beds and continue to allow patient flow," he said. 

"We have not been able to transfer patients for the last 48 hours due to capacity issues that exist across the District." 

The visiting restrictions were in place to protect vulnerable patients, said Donlevy. 

Meanwhile, in the North Island, two schools are reverting back to compulsory mask-wearing in classrooms, one after several students and staff involved with a school production tested positive. 

The move comes as experts said there was an "urgent need for Covid-19 action plans for schools". 

"At the onset of the Omicron outbreak in Aotearoa New Zealand in early 2022, the Government announced a policy for schools that was essentially a business-as-usual approach, advising that schools would stay open through the outbreak," they wrote. 

"However, protections to prevent Covid-19 transmission were incomplete and there have been significant adverse consequences for school communities." 

Masks must be worn in class at Takapuna Grammar from Monday and returned to use in Pt Chevalier School's year 4 to 6 classrooms – with years 1 to 3 also encouraged to mask up – this week. 

In their blog, the public health experts said the pandemic policy for schools needed to change to a whānau-centred approach that took in-school transmission seriously. 

Children aged 5 to 11 had only been eligible for their first vaccine dose two weeks before term 1 began, key ventilation and monitoring equipment hadn't been delivered and child-sized respirator masks, such as KF94s, weren't widely available and younger children weren't required to mask up. 

"Furthermore, the international evidence was clear that longer-term symptoms of Covid-19 infection in children were a real and rising concern and that Omicron was spreading in school settings." 

The experts listed seven areas for immediate action, including "routine, ideally mandated" mask use indoors.